February 21st, 2019

New CCI Clean-22 Rimfire Ammo with Polymer-Coated Bullets

CCI Clean 22 Bullets

CCI is introducing new .22 LR rimfire ammunition with polymer-coated bullets. This is actually a pretty important development. The bullet coating on CCI’s new Clean-22 ammo provides three main benefits:

1. Copper fouling in the barrel is greatly reduced.
2. Lead fouling in the barrel is greatly reduced.
3. Lead build-up in suppressors is reduced by 60-80%.

CCI will offer two versions of Clean-22 ammo: High Velocity (944CC, 1235 FPS MV) and Subsonic (934CC, 1070 FPS MV). Both feature 40gr lead bullets with polymer coatings. The High Velocity ammo has red-coated bullets, while the Subsonic has blue-coated bullets. MSRP for both is $9.95 for 100 rounds. This ammo is available right now from TargetSportsUSA for $6.99 per 100ct High Velocity or 100ct Subsonic.

Clean-22 High Velocity: 1235 FPS | Clean-22 Subsonic: 1070 FPS

CCI Clean 22 Bullets

CCI Clean 22 Bullets CCI Clean 22 Bullets

Clean-22 Ammo with Polymer-Coated Bullets
Clean-22 uses an exclusive polymer bullet coating to greatly reduce copper and lead fouling in the barrel without leaving a residue. It also cuts lead buildup in suppressors 60 to 80 percent. Both the Sub-Sonic and High Velocity loads feature a 40-grain round nose lead bullet with geometry that’s been optimized for accuracy. With dependable CCI priming and consistent propellant, Clean-22 provides reliable cycling through semi-automatics and all 22 LR firearms.

For more information, visit www.cci-ammunition.com.

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February 22nd, 2019

Train with Champions at CMP Small Arms Firing Schools

SFC Brandon Green SAFS small arms school CMP marksmanship program

How would you like to get marksmanship training from the reigning High Power National Champion? Get yourself to Oregon this June and you can. SFC Brandon Green of the USAMU will be one of the instructors for the CMP Small Arms Firing School in Eagle Creek, Oregon in June. A three-time National High Power Champion, Brandon is one of the greatest marksmen on the planet. Yesterday he posted: “Three of us will be at the SAFS/junior clinic in Oregon. Come check it out!” If you can make it to Oregon June 8-9, we definitely recommend this class. It will be the only SAFS in the Western USA this year.

SFC Brandon Green SAFS small arms school CMP marksmanship program

Along with the June SAFS in Oregon, there will be eight other rifle SAFS programs this year at locations nationwide. Some of these will be held in connection with major matches, such as the Eastern CMP Games in April at Camp Butner.

CMP Rifle SAFS Locations and Dates:

1. Eastern Cup & Games Matches, April 30 | Camp Butner, NC
2. Douglas Ridge Rifle Club, June 8-9 | Eagle Creek, OR (Range Officer Class is Jun 7)
3. Fairfax Rod & Gun Club, June 22-23 | Manassas, VA
4. National Matches, July 27-28 | Camp Perry, Port Clinton, OH
5. Oak Ridge Shooting Assoc., August 24-25 | Oak Ridge, TN
6. Camp Ethan Allen, September 19 | Camp Ethan Allen Training Site, Jericho, VT
7. Fort Hill Rifle & Pistol, September 28-29 | Keyser, WV
8. Oklahoma Cup & Games Matches, October 10 | Oklahoma City Gun Club, OK
9. Talladega 600 Matches, November TBD | CMP Talladega Marksmanship Park, AL

Led by certified military and/or civilian instructors, SAFS programs offers high level training in a safe, supportive setting, with rifles and ammo provided. The school is structured toward teaching new shooters, so no past firearm experience is required, though intermediate and advanced marksmen are also welcome to participate. During the course, students will learn basic instruction and firing practices, competition skills and live range firing, as well as compete in a real M16 EIC Match.

CMP Provides Rifles and Ammo at Small Arms Firing Schools
At each SAFS, equipment, including rifles and ammunition, will be provided. Personal equipment, such as a shooting jacket or glove, will be permitted during the course as well. Participants are required to bring hearing protection and eye protection is strongly encouraged.

SFC Brandon Green SAFS small arms school CMP marksmanship program

For more information or ask additional questions, please contact Amy Cantu at acantu@thecmp.org or (419) 635-2141 ext 602. The Small Arms Firing School (SAFS) has been an instrumental source for individuals to delve into firearm safety and competition technique. The SAFS course has been a staple event in the National Matches at Camp Perry since 1918 and has expanded its outreach to other areas of the country through CMP’s Travel Games matches in recent years.

SFC Brandon Green SAFS small arms school CMP marksmanship program

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February 22nd, 2019

Most Popular Hunting & Shooting Products — Survey Results

hunter rifle shooting survey Southwick Associates 2018
Hunting image courtesy NSSF Where to Hunt.

Sportsmen spend millions of dollars on hunting and recreational shooting equipment, but which brands are they buying? In 2018, Southwick Associates surveyed more than 20,000 hunters and recreational shooters to find the top brands in the market. The product preferences of hunters and recreational shooters were determined via HunterSurvey.com and ShooterSurvey.com online polls.

The top handgun maker was Smith & Wesson and the top handgun ammo brand was Federal. Those choices make sense. But other choices were a bit surprising…

IMPORTANT COMMENT: Keep in mind these are just survey results. In many cases, the top choices are simply the cheapest options that sell the most. For example the top choice in reloading dies was Lee Precision. Lee makes some decent products (we like Lee decapping dies), but you won’t find many National Champions using Lee seating or sizing dies.

So assess the survey results with a “grain of salt”, understanding that these aren’t necessarily the best products when gauged by quality or performance. They are just the most popular among those surveyed. A Big Mac isn’t better than a filet mignon, but more Big Macs are purchased. You get the idea…

hunter rifle shooting survey Southwick Associates 2018

SURVEY Results — Most Purchased Hunting & Shooting Brands:


Top rimfire rifle brand: Ruger/Sturm Ruger

Top handgun brand: Smith & Wesson

Top handgun ammunition brand: Federal (including Fusion)

Top holster/ammo belt brand: Uncle Mikes

Top reflex/red dot sight brand: Vortex

Top laser rangefinder brand: Nikon

Top laser sight brand: Crimson Trace

Top scope mount brand: Leupold

Top reloading powder brand: Hodgdon

Top reloading bullets brand: Hornady

Top propellant/powder brand: Triple Seven

Top reloading dies brand: Lee Precision

Top gun cleaning brand: Hoppes

Top hunting knife brand: Gerber

Top game call brand: Primos

Top crossbow brand: Barnett

Top arrow brand: Easton

More than one hundred products are examined in the 2018 Hunting & Shooting Participation and Equipment Purchases Report (CLICK HERE). This in-depth resource covers buying preferences, including the percentage of sales occurring across different retail channels, brand purchased, price paid, and demographics for hunters and shooters buying specific products. Additional information tracked includes total days spent per activity, type of hunting / shooting activity, preferred species and where they hunt. In addition to the topline reports covering hunting and target shooting, annual reports are also offered for special segments including archery consumers, deer hunters, turkey hunters, and waterfowl hunters. To purchase a report or discuss custom research, email Nancy [at] SouthwickAssociates.com.

Permalink Hunting/Varminting, News Post comment »
February 22nd, 2019

MV on the Box? Why You Still Need to Chron Factory Ammo

muzzle velocity applied Ballistics MV chronograph

Why You CANNOT Rely on the MV Printed on the Ammo Box!
When figuring out your come-ups with a ballistics solver or drop chart it’s “mission critical” to have an accurate muzzle velocity (MV). When shooting factory ammo, it’s tempting to use the manufacturer-provided MV which may be printed on the package. That’s not such a great idea says Bryan Litz of Applied Ballistics. Don’t rely on the MV on the box, Bryan advises — you should take out your chrono and run your own velocity tests. There are a number of reasons why the MV values on ammo packaging may be inaccurate. Below is a discussion of factory ammo MV from the Applied Ballistics Facebook Page.

Five Reasons You Cannot Trust the Velocity on a Box of Ammo:

1. You have no idea about the rifle used for the MV test.

2. You have no idea what atmospheric conditions were during testing, and yes it matters a lot.

3. You have no idea of the SD for the factory ammo, and how the manufacturer derived the MV from that SD. (Marketing plays a role here).

4. You have no idea of the precision and quality of chronograph(s) used for velocity testing.

5. You have no idea if the manufacturer used the raw velocity, or back-calculated the MV. The BC used to back track that data is also unknown.

1. The factory test rifle and your rifle are not the same. Aside from having a different chamber, and possibly barrel length some other things are important too like the barrel twist rate, and how much wear was in the barrel. Was it just recently cleaned, has it ever been cleaned? You simply don’t know anything about the rifle used in testing.

2. Temperature and Humidity conditions may be quite different (than during testing). Temperature has a physical effect on powder, which changes how it burns. Couple this with the fact that different powders can vary in temp-stability quite a bit. You just don’t know what the conditions at the time of testing were. Also a lot of factory ammunition is loaded with powder that is meter friendly. Meter friendly can often times be ball powder, which is less temperature stable than stick powder often times.

3. The ammo’s Standard Deviation (SD) is unknown. You will often notice that while MV is often listed on ammo packages, Standard Deviation (normally) is not. It is not uncommon for factory ammunition to have an SD of 18 or higher. Sometimes as high as 40+. As such is the nature of metering powder. With marketing in mind, did they pick the high, low, or average end of the SD? We really don’t know. You won’t either until you test it for yourself. For hand-loaded ammo, to be considered around 10 fps or less. Having a high SD is often the nature of metered powder and factory loads. The image below is from Modern Advancements in Long Range Shooting: Volume II.

muzzle velocity applied Ballistics MV chronograph

4. You don’t know how MV was measured. What chronograph system did the manufacturer use, and how did they back track to a muzzle velocity? A chronograph does not measure true velocity at the muzzle; it simply measures velocity at the location it is sitting. So you need to back-calculate the distance from the chrono to the end of the barrel. This calculation requires a semi-accurate BC. So whose BC was used to back track to the muzzle or did the manufacturer even do that? Did they simply print the numbers displayed by the chronograph? What kind of chronograph setup did they use? We know from our Lab Testing that not all chronographs are created equal. Without knowing what chronograph was used, you have no idea the quality of the measurement. See: Applied Ballistics Chronograph Chapter Excerpt.

5. The MV data may not be current. Does the manufacturer update that data for every lot? Or is it the same data from years ago? Some manufacturers rarely if ever re-test and update information. Some update it every lot (ABM Ammo is actually tested every single lot for 1% consistency). Without knowing this information, you could be using data for years ago.

CONCLUSION: Never use the printed MV off a box of ammo as anything more than a starting point, there are too many factors to account for. You must always either test for the MV with a chronograph, or use carefully obtained, live fire data. When you are using a Ballistic Solver such as the AB Apps or Devices integrated with AB, you need to know the MV to an accuracy down to 5 fps. The more reliable the MV number, the better your ballistics solutions.

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February 21st, 2019

Ireland vs. USA — 2019 Creedmoor Cup Competition

Arizona Ireland USA American Creedmoor Challenge Cup rifle competition

The Creedmoor Cup is an historic challenge match between American and Irish marksmen. The first match was held in in 1874 between American and Irish Teams in Creedmoor, New York. (Read Match History). The Match was revived in 2011 and is now held every four years.

In 2019, the match was held this week at the Ben Avery Range in Arizona, following the Berger Southwest Nationals. It proved to be a great match, with Team USA coming out on top. Erik Cortina stated: “What a great experience this has been. Team USA won the 2019 Creedmoor cup vs Ireland. It had been over 100 years since match was shot in the United States. Glad to see this tradition continue.”

Arizona Ireland USA American Creedmoor Challenge Cup rifle competition

Arizona Ireland USA American Creedmoor Challenge Cup rifle competition

Congrats to the Members of Winning Team USA:

F-TR Riflemen
Alan Barnhart
Ellis Berry
David Conrath
Tracy Hogg
Ian Klemm
Matthew Schwartzkopf
Ed Shelley
Keith Trapp
F-Open Riflemen
Larry Bartholome
Erik Cortina
Ken Dickerman
David Gosnell
Rick Jensen
Jim Murphy
Pat Scully
Keith Weil
Coaches
Kent Reeve (Head Coach)
James Crofts
Scott Fulmer
Bob Seabold
Nancy Tompkins
Team Staff
Captain Phil Kelley
Vice-Captain Dan Bramley
Adjutant Stephen Ireland

Team USA Captain Phil Kelly told us this was a great match: “USA wins the Creedmoor Cup in a great competition with Team Ireland! Two days of cold and windy conditions challenged both 16-shooter teams. Final ceremonies included Native American dancers and great camaraderie among all the competitors. Thank you to all from Team Ireland who made the trip! The best of competitors and friends.” Phil added: “Special thanks to additional Creedmoor Committee members including Michelle Gallagher, Pete Ricci, and Mark Walker. We look forward to the next gathering in four years. Safe travels all.”

Arizona Ireland USA American Creedmoor Challenge Cup rifle competition

Nancy Tompkins looks down-range. With the wind-chill, competitors and coaches dressed warm.
Arizona Ireland USA American Creedmoor Challenge Cup rifle competition

Not Your Typical Warm Arizona Days at Ben Avery
There were variable conditions at the match — first easy, then tough. USA Captain Phil Kelley reported: “On Day 1 of the 2-day match, things started good then got tougher. The morning and 800-yard line saw 34° and light winds leading to high scores.

That changed as the 16-shooter teams made their way to the 900-yard line as sun, moderate wind and building mirage hit the range providing more challenging conditions.

After an excellent lunch both teams were in for a challenge. Winds of 12-16 mph with constant angle changes and surging mirage made communications and coordination among five coaches critical. The wind chill also dropped as teams stayed on the line for the majority of allotted time.”

Arizona Ireland USA American Creedmoor Challenge Cup rifle competition

The First-Ever Creedmoor Challenge Match in 1874
The Irish International Shooting team arrived in New York on the 16th of September and proceeded to “take in the sights”, which was understandable, before some practice at the Creedmoor range. On September 26th they presented themselves for the match with confidence and in high spirits. The crowds that day were reported to be between 5,000 and 10,000 strong, which showed the huge support already growing for the fledgling sport in America.

Arizona Ireland USA American Creedmoor Challenge Cup rifle competition

The course of fire was 15 shots to each man at 800, 900, and 1000 yards. Unfortunately, the details of each mans scores at the individual distances have been lost to time but we do know that the Americans were well ahead after the 800-yard shoot. The Irish then caught up after the 900-yard and finished the 1000-yard shoot ahead by 1 point. The Americans still had one man left to shoot and it came down to his very last shot with which he scored a 4 giving the American team the win over the Irish by 3 points.

Arizona Ireland USA American Creedmoor Challenge Cup rifle competition

Post-Competition Camaraderie and “Craic” at the Pub
“Craic” is an Irish term referring to positive interaction among people through conversation, stories, and music. The Craic was strong after the 2019 Creedmoor Match.

Desert Sharpshooters posted: “The ‘Craic’ is amazing tonight with the Irish rifle team to finish the Creedmoor. Thank you to the USA team members that came out tonight to show the Irish a good time. This is truely what the Creedmoor Cup is about, Friendship and good times.”

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February 21st, 2019

First Shot Hit at 1500 Yards — Could You Do That?

6.5 Creedmoor 1500 yards Kestrel
File photo showing Kestrel 5700 Elite. See video below for 6.5 Creedmoor rifle.

6.5 Creedmoor 1500 yards applied ballistics kestrelIt’s not easy to place a first shot on target at 1500 yards. You must measure the wind speed with precision, know your exact muzzle velocity, and have a sophisticated ballistics solver. In this short video from Ryansrangereport.com, the shooter manages a first-round hit on a steel silhouette at 1500 yards. He used a Kestrel 4500 NV Weather Meter with Applied Ballistics software to figure out the trajectory for his 6.5 Creedmoor rounds.

The Kestrel recorded a wind velocity, and the internal software calculated a solution of 17 Mils elevation (that’s 928 inches of drop) with 2.5 Mils windage. “Bang” — the shooter sends it, and 2.6 seconds later “Clang” he had a hit (flight time was 2.6 seconds). Bryan Litz observes: “This is the science of accuracy (in the form of an Applied Ballistics Kestrel) being put to good use at 1500 yards”.

Later in the video (1:05-1:15) the shooter places three rounds on steel at 1000 yards in just 10 seconds. The three shots all fall within 10″ or so — pretty impressive for rapid fire. The shooter reports: “[In my 6.5 Creedmoor] I’m using a 136gr Lapua Scenar L. This bullet has impressed me. It screams out of my barrel at 2940 fps and holds on all the way out to 1,500 yards.”

The rifle was built by Aaron Roberts of Roberts Precision Rifles (RPRifles.com). Chambered for the 6.5 Creedmoor, it features a Leupold Mark VI 3-18x44mm scope.

Roberts Precision Rifles
19515 Wied Rd. Suite D
Spring, Texas 77388
Phone: 281-651-5593
Email: rprifles @ gmail.com

Permalink Shooting Skills, Tactical 1 Comment »
February 20th, 2019

Berger 2019 Southwest Nationals Report

2019 Berger Southwest Nationals SWN Ben Avery Phoenix Arizona Lapua Capstone F-Class

The 2019 Berger Southwest Nationals (SWN) are history. It was a great event, with challenging conditions. Forum member Matt Peetz reports: “This year was one of the best — the toughest competitors battling for position in some tough conditions. You never knew how the day was going to end up.” For detailed results and more photos, visit the Desert Sharpshooters Facebook Page.

2019 Berger Southwest Nationals SWN Ben Avery Phoenix Arizona Lapua Capstone F-Class

This Berger SWN brings together sling shooters and F-Class competitors in one of the most popular rifle matches of the year, and definitely the biggest match West of the Mississippi. We congratulate the three divisional champions: Curtis Gordon (Sling), John Myers (F-Open), and Keith Trapp (F-TR)

2019 Berger Southwest Nationals SWN Ben Avery Phoenix Arizona Lapua Capstone F-Class

Keith Trapp won the F-TR division at the Berger SWN with the best overall Aggregate for the week. Keith’s name will be placed on the SWN Nightforce Perpetual Trophy overall. Fellow F-TR Shooter Luke Ramsey won the Berger Trophy for the 600-yard Individual Agg. Phil Kelley said: “It was pretty cool to see good friend Keith Trapp win it all. Our little Butner Club matches just make me smile. That’s 3 SWN champions riding in the same car many days.”

F-TR Top Three
Keith Trapp, 1227-44X; Peter Johns, 1224-40X; Ian Klemm, 1222-51X
(Special Mention: Fritz Braun, 1220-58X, High Senior)

F-Open Top Three
John Myers, 1244-71X; Stephen Potter, 1241-69X; Cody Richardson, 1241-62X
(Special Mention: Sixth Overall and F-Open Palma Match Winner, AccurateShooter System Admin Jay Christopherson, 1239-61X)

Sling (Palma) Top Three
Curtis Gordon, 1241-67X; Kent Reeve, 1241-52X; Oliver Milanovic, 1240-68X
(Special Mention: Tom Whitaker, 1232-55X, High Grand Senior)

2019 Berger Southwest Nationals SWN Ben Avery Phoenix Arizona Lapua Capstone F-Class

F-Open Team Results
Winner: Team Lapua-Brux-Borden, 2375-137X
Alphabetical Order: Jay Christopherson, Erik Cortina (Shooter/Captain), Tod Hendricks, Pat Scully, Bob Sebold (Coach); David Christian (Alt), Steve Harp (Alt)

Second Place: Team Grizzly, 2374-109X
Shiraz Balolia (Shooter/Captain), David Mann, John Meyers, Emil Kovan, Emil Praslick III (Coach)

Berger SW Nationals

F-TR Team Results
Winner: Team Texas, 2359-111X
Otis Riffey, Jason Peel, David Parck, Greg Barkley, Randy Littleton, Skip Barkley (Captain), Peter Johns (Coach)

Second Place: Team USA Freedom, 2345-108X
Ian Klemm, Wade Fillingame, Alan Barnhart, Fritz Braun, Kent Reeve (Captain); James Crofts (Coach)

Sling Team Results
Winner: Blazing Saddles, 2347-108X
Thomas Thompson, Andrew Wilde, Mike Kelley (Shooter/Captain), Oliver Milanovic (Shooter/Coach)

2019 Berger Southwest Nationals SWN Ben Avery Phoenix Arizona Lapua Capstone F-Class Sling Team Texas Blazing Saddles

Gary Eliseo said: “Congratulations to team Blazing Saddles — Mike Kelley, Tom Thompson, Andrew Wilde, and Oliver Milanovic winners of the gold medal in the team event of the 2019 BSWN matches. Well done!”

Berger SW Nationals Ben Avery

Second Place: Team U.S. National Black, 2346-107X
Steffen Bunde, Tony Miller, Yvonne Roberts, Jerry Iliff (Shooter/Captain), Yvonne Roberts (Shooter/Coach)

Friends in Life and on the Podium

2019 Berger Southwest Nationals SWN Ben Avery Phoenix Arizona Lapua Capstone F-Class

Congratulations to Allen Thomas and Gary Eliseo who both shot great in the “Any Rifle” class, a subdivision of the sling division. Both men were shooting Eliseo Chassis Rifles with Pierce Engineering’s new Gen 2 short-cycle Ultra slick actions. Gary noted: “I’m honored to share the podium with my friend and teammate Allen Thomas (first place ‘Any Rifle’) and me (second place ‘Any Rifle’) winners at the 2019 BSWN matches.

Berger SWN southwest nationals

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February 20th, 2019

AZ Pilot Builds Great Two-Station Shooting Bench

do it yourself shooting bench 6.5 Creedmoor

We like well-executed DIY (Do-It-Yourself) projects. You can save money with DIY projects, and often create something unique and special that can’t be purchased from any vendor. That’s the case with this very cool double shooting bench built by Jacob D., a pilot and 6.5 Creedmoor shooter.

Jacob, who flys for Arizona’s Mesa Airlines, built his own side-by-side benchrest shooting bench. He then posted photos of this on the 6.5 Creedmoor Group Facebook Page. We like this — very nice work Jacob!

do it yourself shooting bench 6.5 Creedmoor

Jacob writes: “Sighting in my new Ruger Precision Rifle with Leupold VX3i LRP 6.5-20x50mm and Burris tactical rings, using my benchrest table I built. Very happy with the combo!”

There is plenty of room for two shooters and two rifles on Jacob’s big and sturdy DIY shooting bench.

do it yourself shooting bench 6.5 Creedmoor
do it yourself shooting bench 6.5 Creedmoor

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February 20th, 2019

Take Better Match and Gun Range Photos with Fill Flash

camera daylight fill flash shootingWe know you guys like taking photos of your rifles at the range. And, if you’re selling a rifle, scope, front rest, or rear bag, you need good photos to post in our Forum classifieds. Here’s a basic photography tip that can help you produce dramatically better photos. Use your camera’s ability to add “fill flash” even in daylight.

There’s plenty of light on a bright day. But bright light also means strong shadows. The shadows can leave parts of your subject literally in the dark. Daylight flash will help fill in those dark spots. In addition, if you are on a covered firing area, and want to include the range in your photo, you can benefit from using flash. This will prevent the foreground subject from being too dark while the downrange background is much too bright.

Photo without Flash

The photo above was taken without flash. As you can see, the rifle is too dark so details are lost. At the same time, the background (downrange) is over-exposed and washed out. The second photo below is taken with daylight flash. The difference is dramatic. Now you can see details of the rifle, while the background is exposed properly. Note how much easier it is to see the the targets downrange and the colors of the front rest. NOTE: these two photos were taken at the same time — just seconds apart.

Photo with Daylight “Fill-Flash”

Be sure to click on the larger versions of each photo.

How to Activate Daylight Flash
Most digital cameras have daylight flash capability. Some cameras have a separate setting for “auto fill flash”. On other cameras, you’ll have to set the camera to aperture priority and stop down the aperture to force the flash to fire. Read your camera’s manual. On many Canons, a menu that lets you set the “flash output”. For “fill flash” we like to set the flash at 30% to 50% output. This fills in the shadows sufficiently without “killing contrast” or creating too much reflection on shiny metal. Below is a photo taken with 30% flash output. Note the rich colors and how the exposure is balanced between foreground and background. Without flash the sky and target area would be “washed out”.


Here’s another tip for Canon owners. If you like deep, rich colors, use the “Vivid” setting in the effects menu. This punches up saturation and contrast.

Permalink - Articles, Tech Tip 2 Comments »
February 19th, 2019

$40 Plug-In Impeller Lets SmartPhone Work as Wind Reader

weatherflow wind meter anemometer wind gauge turbine smart phone iphone app

Gear Report by Kip Staton
Shooters in the market for an accurate anemometer that doesn’t break the bank need to take a hard look at the WeatherFlow Wind Meter, which retails on Amazon.com for just $39.95. Even though it is inexpensive, owner reviews have been overwhelmingly postive (so long as the software is compatible with your device). One Amazon reviewer says the WeatherFlow measures wind velocity as accurately as his expensive Kestrel.

A big part of the reason the WeatherFlow Wind Meter is so inexpensive is that you’ve probably already got the brains of the system in your pocket. Yes, it connects to and communicates with any standard smartphone or tablet, in either iOS or Android flavors. Users simply download the free WeatherFlow Wind Meter app to their smart device, insert the anemometer into the headphone jack, and can immediately start measuring the wind.

weatherflow wind meter anemometer wind gauge turbine smart phone iphone app

weatherflow wind meter anemometer wind gauge turbine smart phone iphone appOf course, the first question any serious shooter will ask is “How accurate is this thing?” Pretty dang accurate, as it turns out. The device was calibrated by the University of Florida’s Aerospace Engineering Department, and the unique design allows it to consistently report to within a half a percentage point of the true wind value, even if the breeze is up to 15 degrees off-axis to the meter.

Wind speeds are measurable from as slow as two miles per hour to as high as 125 MPH. The Wind Meter outputs average, lull, and gusts windspeed data to your phone, with velocities indicated in 0.1 MPH increments. Furthermore, a hard-sided protective case is included for safe transportation.

Naturally, since the WeatherFlow Wind Meter is App-based, it’s connectable to a variety of social media websites and distribution sources. This makes saving and sharing information about climate conditions a breeze.

To read more gear reviews by Kip Staton, visit KipStaton.com.

Permalink - Articles, Gear Review, New Product 1 Comment »
February 19th, 2019

Got Fifty? Add a .50 BMG to Your Collection for $2149.00

.50 Browning Machine Gun 50 BMG Noreen Rifle

No personal rifle collection is complete without a .50 BMG — the big boy. The single-shot, bolt-action Noreen is one of the most affordable Fifties. This 32-pound beast boasts a 34″ barrel with a massive muzzle brake. Simple and bomb proof, what more could you need? The .50 BMG Noreen Ultra Long Range (ULR) rifle features a single shot bolt action, 34″ barrel with 1:15″ twist, Noreen collapsible stock, A2 pistol grip, timney adjustable trigger, and Noreen muzzle brake with 1.25-12 thread. NOTE: The photo above shows one version with a custom camo paint job. You’ll have to do that yourself. The gun is available from EuroOptic.com at this $2149.00 price only with a matte black finish.

.50 Browning Machine Gun 50 BMG Noreen Rifle

The Noreen’s bolt is stout, sporting a large diameter bolt body. This jumbo-sized rifle comes with Timney trigger and AR-type pistol grip (which can be exchanged by purchaser). The wide bipod is included with the rifle. EuroOptic now offers the Noreen .50 BMG in Matte Black for $2149.00 price. Heck you could pay that much for a puny little .22 LR Anschutz. So go BIG instead — be the first on your block with a .50 BMG! You can also purchase this rig directly from Noreen Firearms, with a choice of four calibers: .338 Lapua Magnum, .408 CheyTac, .416 Barrett, and .50 BMG.

About the .50 BMG Cartridge

The .50 Browning Machine Gun (.50 BMG, aka 12.7×99mm NATO or 50 Browning) is a cartridge developed for the Browning .50 caliber machine gun in the late 1910s, entering official service in 1921. Under STANAG 4383, it is a standard cartridge for NATO forces as well as many non-NATO countries. John Browning had the idea for this round during World War I in response to a need for an anti-aircraft weapon, based on a scaled-up .30-06 Springfield design, used in a machine gun based on a scaled-up M1919/M1917 design that Browning had initially developed around 1900. According to the American Rifleman: “The Browning .50 originated in the Great War. American interest in an armor-piercing cartridge was influenced by the marginal French 11 mm design, prompting U.S. Army Ordnance officers to consult Browning. They wanted a heavy projectile at 2700 FPS, but the ammunition did not exist. Browning pondered the situation and, according to his son John, replied, ‘Well, the cartridge sounds pretty good to start. You make up some cartridges and we’ll do some shooting’.”

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February 19th, 2019

Water Transfer Printing for Rifle Stocks

hydro-dip stock finish

There’s a great new way to apply an eye-catching finish to fiberglass and synthetic stocks. Water Transfer Printing (aka Hydro-Dipping) can apply beautiful, stylized patterns to your stock, and the process costs less than a custom paint job. Hydro-dipping is ideal for applying amazing photo-realistic effects such as stone, wood burl, snakeskin, or faux carbon fiber. Hydro-dipping requires no harsh chemicals or high heat so there are no negative side effects. You just end up with an amazing, patterned finish on your stock.

Hundreds of different patterns are available. We like the carbon-look finish on benchrest guns and the snakeskin patterns on hunting and varmint rifles. Natural snakeskin designs, in this Editor’s opinion, are perhaps the most effective camouflage for the largely arrid backcountry in the American southwest.

hydro-dip stock finish

hydro-dip stock finish

Hydro-Dip of Idaho Does Great Work
While there are a half-dozen companies offering water transfer printing for rifle stocks, Forum member Francis B. recommends Hydro-Dip, LLC of Meridian, Idaho. Examples of Hydro-Dip’s work are shown above. Francis writes: “Scott, Adam, and old man Rod Springer own and run Hydro-Dip. This is a company that will ‘paint’ your rifle, tool box, trailer, airplane, whatever and will do an excellent job while doing it. Check out their archives of jobs done. You will be amazed. I’ve not had one of their jobs done for any of mine (yet) but I’m considering it. Those who have had their rifles done tell me the cost is very reasonable. I have seen a few stocks done and they are works of art.”

Hydro-dipping (water transfer printing) can be performed on virtually any metal or plastic surface. You can Hydro-dip car parts, archery gear, rifle stocks — you name it. Watch the process in the video:

CLICK VIDEO to See Hydro-Dipping Process!

Hydro-Dip of Idaho

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February 18th, 2019

SHOT Show — 6.5 Guys Reveal New Rifles and Chassis Systems

65guys.com Ed Mobley Steve Lawrence Scope Optics SHOT Show Videos modular driven accuracy international seekins precision Tactical Long Range 2019

Every year our friends Ed and Steve, aka the 6.5 Guys, produce informative SHOT Show videos. These two hard-working dudes visited dozens of product booths during SHOT Show 2019, producing over 40 video interviews for 65Guys.com. Ed and Steve roamed the Expo Center finding the latest and greatest rifles, stocks, optics, and accessories. Here are five 6.5 Guys Videos about new rifles and chassis systems. Next week we’ll feature more 6.5 Guys videos covering new optics. You can see all 42 SHOT Show 2019 videos from Ed and Steve on the 6.5 Guys YouTube Channel.

Modular Driven Technologies

modular driven ACC chassis

Modular Driven Technologies (MDT) produces impressive chassis systems with innovative features, including modular weights. MDT is now a top choice for the PRS/NRL tactical disciplines. Steve was quite impressed by the new MDT ACC. See more at MDTTac.com.

Accuracy International — Mile High Shooting Accessories

One of the most impressive rifles at SHOT Show 2019 was the massive Accuracy Int’l Advanced Sniper Rifle (ASR) at the Mile High Shooting Accessories booth. The Advanced Sniper Rifle (ASR) will be submitted for SOCOM’s multi-caliber rifle program. It is offered in a $19,544 deployment kit with three barrels: (.308 Win, .300 Norma Mag, and .338 Norma Mag).

Seekins Precision — Complete Rifles and Actions

2019 shot show 6.5 Guys chassis system rifles

Seekins Precision showcased some impressive custom actions plus complete rifles for both tactical competitors and long range hunters. We were impressed with the build quality of the Seekins precision rifles. We liked the new Seekins Havak Bravo, and the Seekins action has some interesting features, such as four locking lugs with 90° bolt throw. Full Seekins Havak Bravo Review.

Gunwerks — Long Range Precision Rifles

Gunwerks is more than a builder of expensive (some say over-priced) rifles. It also sells branded electro-optics, and suppressors. Gunwerks also runs shooting clinics, and has hundreds of training and hunting videos on the Gunwerks YouTube channel. We like what Gunwerks is doing in the media space. Here the 6.5 Guys showcase some of the latest rifle and stock options from Gunwerks. Steve said he liked the adjustability and ergonomics on the Gunwerks stocks.

Legacy Sports International (Howa)

Legacy Sports Int’l (LSI) offers a variety of hunting and tactical rifles featuring the smooth-running Howa actions from Japan. At SHOT Show 2019, Legacy previewed a new tactical rig featuring a modular MDT Oryx chassis and Howa 1500 barreled action. The 6.5 Guys got to shoot this rig during media day and were impressed. This will be offered for Howa Short, Long, and Mini Actions.

2019 shot show 6.5 Guys chassis system rifles

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February 18th, 2019

Bargain Finder 178: AccurateShooter’s Deals of the Week

Accurateshooter Bargain Finder Deals of Week

At the request of our readers, we provide select “Deals of the Week”. Every Monday morning we offer our Best Bargain selections. Here are some of the best deals on firearms, hardware, reloading components, optics, and shooting accessories. Be aware that sale prices are subject to change, and once clearance inventory is sold, it’s gone for good. You snooze you lose.

1. CDNN — Weatherby Vanguard 6.5 Creedmoor Rifle, $799.99

Weatherby Vanguard Modular rifle 6.5 Creedmoor

This is a great deal. MSRP on the Weatherby Vanguard Modular Rifle in 6.5 Creedmoor was $1519.00. Now you can buy this rig for just $799.99 on sale. That’s less than you’d pay for most custom actions by themselves. Yes this Weatherby rifle qualifies for PRS Production class — it’s 100% within the rules. Put the hundreds of dollars you save into optics, ammo, and a suppressor — the 20″ barrel comes pre-threaded for brake or suppressor. This rifle has a nice 2-stage trigger, and Luth AR adjustable buttstock fitted to a CNC-machined anodized aluminum chassis. Weatherby guarantees SUB-MOA accuracy with premium ammo.

2. NEW — Frankford Intelli-Dropper Scale/Dispenser, $199.99

powder scale dispenser chargemaster intellidropper intell-dropper frankford arsenal smart mobile app bluetooth

Intelli-Dropper Priced Under $200.00: The new Frankford Arsenal Intelli-Dropper will be available very soon from leading vendors such as Midsouth, Grafs.com, and MidwayUSA for around $199.99.

A new electronic powder scale/dispenser just hit the market to compete with units from Lyman, RCBS, and Hornady. The new Frankford Arsenal Platinum Series “Intelli-Dropper” is a true “new generation” device with an advanced brain that can “talk” to a Mobile App on your smartphone via BlueTooth. This way you can store powder and load information on your smartphone and then control the scale/dispenser from the App. The App also has bullet, cartridge, and powder databases. The Intelli-dropper can also manually trickle, so you can save time by throwing your charge and then just trickling to the final tenth.

3. Midsouth — Rock Chucker Supreme Reloading Kit, $299.99

Deals of Week RCBS Rock Chucker Supreme Kit

Everything you see above can be yours for just $299.99. Great Deal. Right now, Midsouth is selling the Rock Chucker Supreme Master Reloading Kit for $299.99, a fine price considering all the hardware you get: Press, Primer Tool, Scale, Powder Measure, Loading Tray, Reloading Manual and more. Heck, the Rock Chucker press alone is worth $165.00+. This is good starter kit for any reloader with sturdy items (such as the Rock Chucker press), that will last a lifetime.

4. GunBuyer.com — Walther 9mm PPQ Q5 Match, $649.00

Walther competition PPQ Q5 match polymer pistol handgun 9mm

Are you looking to compete in Action Pistol Matches or 3-Gun Disciplines? Here’s a 9mm competition-ready pistol capable of winning Production Class right out of the box. The Walther PPQ Q5 Match can be used with iron sights or popular red dot optics. The gun balances well and the relieved slide helps reduce cycle time for fast transitions. At $649.00 from GunBuyer.com (the “best price anywhere”) the Walther PPQ Q5 Match is a fraction of the cost of a custom race gun. It’s a good choice for Production class.

5. Brownells — Presidents’ Day Sale — Big Discounts

Brownells Presidents Day Sale February 2019 discount Aero Precision Howa Barreled action

Brownells Howa Barreled Action RCBS ChargeMaster Lite powder dispenser Aero Precision Lower AR

Brownells is running a major Presidents’ Day Sale with huge price reductions on guns, barreled actions, uppers, lowers, reloading tools, accessories, loaded ammo and more. A quick glance at the Brownells website revealed many killer deals — some of the best prices we’ve seen in many months on many highly desirable products, such as Howa Barreled Actions, Aero Precision components, CCI Ammo, and even the RCBS ChargeMaster Lite. Don’t hesitate — this sale ends soon!

6. EuroOptic — 50% Off GRS Berserk Rem and Howa Stocks

Remington Howa Long Short GRS Berserk composite rifle stocks

Now through February 21st get 50% OFF select GRS Berserk Stocks for Remington and Howa actions. These Norwegian-crafted stocks combine outstanding ergonomics with advanced composite construction. Length of pull and cheek height adjust instantly with the push of a button. Combine one of these stocks with a Remington Barreled Action, and a Vortex Closeout Riflescope to create an outstanding LR prone or hunting rifle for under $1500.00.

7. EuroOptic — Leica CRF 2000-B, $399.00

Leica 2000-B Rangemaster Laser LRF Rangefinder Sale Eurooptics.com

Here’s a great deal on the vaunted Leica 2000-B Laser Rangefinder (LRF) with 7-power optic. This unit is rated out to 2000 yards on reflective objects. The Leica 2000-B features air pressure and temperature sensors, plus on-board inclinometer. Angle correction works out to 1200 horizontal yards equivalent, with the true hold-over displayed in both MILs and MOA. The compact Leica CRF 2000-B weighs just 6.5 ounces and measures 4.5″ L x 2.25″ H x 1.25″ W. It has a waterproof outer shell.

8. Champions Choice — Deluxe 58″-Long Rifle Case, $68.00

Champion's Choice extra long palma rifle case 58

Many of our readers shoot Palma, F-Class, and ELR rifles with long barrels (up to 35″). It’s difficult to find high-quality, well-padded cases that fit very long rifles. Champion’s Choice offers just such a product, the 58″ Deluxe Soft Rifle Case. With thick 1″ padding on each side, big pockets, and backpack straps, this black/blue/white gun case has earned rave reviews from our Forum members. There’s plenty of room for big scopes, and it even comes with an internal tube to hold your cleaning rod.

9. Amazon — Neiko Digital Calipers, $17.85

Amazon Neiko Digital Caliper

Even if you have a good set of calipers, you may want to get one of these Neiko 01407A Digital Calipers. The #1 best-selling digital caliper on Amazon.com, this Neiko tool features a large LCD Screen and measures up to 6.0 inches. With over 3800 customer reviews, this product has earned an overall rating of 4.4 out of 5 stars. It’s hard to go wrong for $17.85, even if you just use these as a spare set for measuring group sizes and case trim lengths.

10. Midsouth — 250 Adhesive Precision Targets on Roll, $12.49

midsouth adhesive benchrest precision target roll

Midsouth offers 250 self-adhesive Benchrest Targets on a convenient roll. These stick-on targets are great for load development. The aiming diamond helps align the cross hairs of your scope while the 1/4″ grid pattern makes it easy to eyeball your group size. At the bottom are fields for your load info. Each Target sticker measures 6″ x 4″ with a 4.5″ x 2.5″ printed area. Midsouth sells the 250-target roll for $12.49.

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February 18th, 2019

READ THIS — Powder Storage — How to Avoid Problems

Western Powders Blog SAAMI Storage

SUMMARY: Powder can have a very long shelf life. You need to watch for changes in smell and color. A reddish tinge, almost like rust on the powder, is a bad sign, as is a foul odor, not to be confused with a normal chemical smell. Either of these signs indicate it is time to dispose of your powder by means other than shooting.

Ever wondered about the stability of the propellants in your reloading room? There are some important things you should know about powder storage, to ensure consistent powder performance and safety. On its website, Western Powders (vendors of Accurate, Norma, and Ramshot powders) published an informative Q & A series entitled Dear Labby: Questions for our Ballistics Lab. Here are some excerpts that pertain to powder storage and shelf life. Worried that your powder may be too old? Western’s experts explain how to check your propellants for warning signs.

Proper Powder Storage

Q: I live in southern Arizona where it is very hot. I am told powders will become unstable if stored in an area not air-conditioned. My wife says no powder or primers in the house. Can powder be stored in a refrigerator? What about using a fireproof safe? I would appreciate your ideas. — M.C.

Lab Answer: SAAMI guidelines are pretty clear on issues of storage. They recommend storing smokeless powder in containers that will not allow pressure to build if the powder is ignited — ruling out gun safes and refrigerators.

CLICK HERE to Read SAAMI Guidelines for Powder Storage (PDF)

In their original containers smokeless powder’s lifespan is quite long, even in your hot, arid climate, typically longer than the average handloader would need to store them. Stored safely in a garage or outbuilding, your powder should last years. If you see the powder developing a reddish tint, or giving off a foul odor, it is time to discard it.

Clumps in Powder Container

Q: I ordered some of your Accurate 1680 powder back about in December. I just now opened it … and it is full of clumps. My knowledge tells me that means moisture. Am I wrong? I just now broke the seal and it has been stored in a ammo can with desiccant packs around it and a dehumidifier running 14-16 hours a day. I can’t imagine this being my fault, if this does indicate moisture. I don’t know if the pink part on the label is suppose to be red or not, but it is definitely pink, so if it was red I am wondering if I was shipped an old container? I hope that this isn’t bad and I am stuck with it…

Lab Answer: All powder contains a certain amount of moisture. When the powder is stored or during shipping, it can go through temperature cycles. During the cycling, the moisture can be pulled to the surface and cause clumping. Clumping can also be caused by static electricity if too dry or the powder has limited graphite content. You can break up the clumps before metering and they shouldn’t be a problem. This will not affect the powder performance, so your product is fine. Accurate 1680 labels are designed in Pink. As a side note, specification for testing powder is at 70° F and 60% humidity.

Read the rest of this entry »

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February 17th, 2019

Don’t Kill the Chrono! Setting up Chronos to Avoid Stray Shots

chronograph placement, shooting chrony, chrono, advisory, tech tip

There is nothing more frustrating (or embarassing) than sending a live round into your expensive new chronograph. As the photo below demonstrates, with most types of chronographs (other than the barrel-hung Magnetospeed), you can fatally injure your expensive chrono if it is not positioned precisely.

When setting up a chrono, we always unload the rifle, remove the bolt and bore-sight to ensure that the path of the bullet is not too low. When bore-sighting visually, set up the rifle securely on the sandbags and look through the bore, breech to muzzle, lining up the barrel with your aim point on the target. Then (during an appropriate cease-fire), walk behind the chronograph. Looking straight back through the “V” formed by the sky-screens, you should be able to see light at the end of the barrel if the gun is positioned correctly. You can also use an in-chamber, laser bore-sighter to confirm the visual boresighting (see photo).

Laser boresighter chronograph

Adjust the height, angle and horizontal position of the chronograph so the bullet will pass through the middle of the “V” below the plastic diffusers, no less than 5″ above the light sensors. We put tape on the front sky-screen supports to make it easier to determine the right height over the light sensors.

Use a Test Backer to Confirm Your Bullet Trajectory
You can put tape on the support rods about 6″ up from the unit. This helps you judge the correct vertical height when setting up your rifle on the bags. Another trick is to hang a sheet of paper from the rear skyscreen and then use a laser boresighter to shine a dot on the paper (with the gun planted steady front and rear). This should give you a good idea (within an inch or so) of the bullet’s actual flight path through the “V” over the light sensors. Of course, when using a laser, never look directly at the laser! Instead shine the laser away from you and see where it appears on the paper.

chronograph set-up

Alignment of Chronograph Housing
Make sure the chrono housing is parallel to the path of the bullet. Don’t worry if the unit is not parallel to the ground surface. What you want is the bullet to pass over both front and rear sensors at the same height. Don’t try to set the chrono height in reference to the lens of your scope–as it sits 1″ to 2″ above your bore axis. To avoid muzzle blast interference, set your chronograph at least 10 feet from the end of the muzzle (or the distance recommended by the manufacturer).

chronograph laser sky screens

Rifles with Elevated Iron Sights
All too often rookie AR15 shooters forget that AR sights are positioned roughly 2.4″ above the bore axis (at the top of the front sight blade). If you set your bullet pass-through point using your AR’s front sight, the bullet will actually be traveling 2.4″ lower as it goes through the chrono. That’s why we recommend bore-sighting and setting the bullet travel point about 5-8″ above the base of the sky-screen support shafts. (Or the vertical distance the chronograph maker otherwise recommends). NOTE: You can make the same mistake on a scoped rifle if the scope is set on very tall rings, so the center of the cross-hairs is much higher than the bore axis line.

Laser boresighter chronograph

TARGET AIM POINT: When doing chrono work, we suggest you shoot at a single aiming point no more than 2″ in diameter (on your target paper). Use that aiming point when aligning your chrono with your rifle’s bore. If you use a 2″ bright orange dot, you should be able to see that through the bore at 100 yards. Using a single 2″ target reduces the chance of a screen hit as you shift points of aim. If you shoot at multiple target dots, place them in a vertical line, and bore sight on the lowest dot. Always set your chron height to set safe clearance for the LOWEST target dot, and then work upwards only.

Other Chronograph Tips from Forum Members:

When using a chronograph, I put a strip of masking tape across the far end of the skyscreens about two-thirds of the way up. This gives me a good aiming or bore-sighting reference that’s well away from the pricey bits. I learned that one the hard way. — GS Arizona

A very easy and simple tool to help you set up the chronograph is a simple piece of string! Set your gun (unloaded of course) on the rest and sight your target. Tie one end of the string to the rear scope ring or mount, then pull the string along the barrel to simulate the bullet path. With the string showing the bullet’s path, you can then easily set the chronograph’s placement left/right, and up/down. This will also let you set the chrono’s tilt angle and orientation so the sensors are correctly aligned with the bullet path. — Wayne Shaw

If shooting over a chrono from the prone position off a bipod or similar, beware of the muzzle sinking as recoil causes the front of the rifle to drop. I “killed” my first chronograph shooting off a gravel covered firing point where I’d not given enough clearance to start with and an inch or two drop in the muzzle caused a bullet to clip the housing. — Laurie Holland

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February 17th, 2019

Ballistics TIP: How Altitude and Air Pressure Affect Bullet Flight

Trajectory of Bullet fired at Sea Level

Trajectory of Bullet fired at 20,000 feet

You can do your own experimental calculations using JBM Online Ballistics (free to use). Here is an extreme example, with two printouts (generated with Point Blank software), one showing bullet trajectory at sea level (0′ altitude) and one at 20,000 feet. For demonstration sake, we assigned a low 0.2 BC to the bullet, with a velocity of 3000 fps.

Suunto AltimeterOne of our readers asked “What effect does altitude have on the flight of a bullet?” The simplistic answer is that, at higher altitudes, the air is thinner (lower density), so there is less drag on the bullet. This means that the amount of bullet drop is less at any given flight distance from the muzzle. Since the force of gravity is essentially constant on the earth’s surface (for practical purposes), the bullet’s downward acceleration doesn’t change, but a bullet launched at a higher altitude is able to fly slightly farther (in the thinner air) for every increment of downward movement. Effectively, the bullet behaves as if it has a higher ballistic coefficient.

Forum member Milanuk explains that the key factor is not altitude, but rather air pressure. Milanuk writes:

“In basic terms, as your altitude increases, the density of the air the bullet must travel through decreases, thereby reducing the drag on the bullet. Generally, the higher the altitude, the less the bullet will drop. For example, I shoot at a couple ranges here in the Pacific Northwest. Both are at 1000′ ASL or less. I’ll need about 29-30 MOA to get from 100 yard to 1000 yards with a Berger 155gr VLD @ 2960fps. By contrast, in Raton, NM, located at 6600′ ASL, I’ll only need about 24-25 MOA to do the same. That’s a significant difference.

Note that it is the barometric pressure that really matters, not simply the nominal altitude. The barometric pressure will indicate the reduced pressure from a higher altitude, but it will also show you the pressure changes as a front moves in, etc. which can play havoc w/ your calculated come-ups. Most altimeters are simply barometers that read in feet instead of inches of mercury.”

As Milanuk states, it is NOT altitude per se, but the LOCAL barometric pressure (sometimes called “station pressure”) that is key. The two atmospheric conditions that most effect bullet flight are air temperature, and barometric pressure. Normally, humidity has a negligible effect.

It’s important to remember that the barometric pressure reported on the radio (or internet) may be stated as a sea level equivalency. So in Denver (at 6,000 feet amsl), if the local pressure is 24″, the radio will report the barometric pressure to be 30″. If you do high altitude shooting at long range, bring along a Kestrel, or remember to mentally correct the radio station’s pressure, by 1″ per 1,000 feet.”

If you want to learn more about all aspects of External Ballistics, ExteriorBallistics.com provides a variety of useful resources. In particular, on that site, Section 3.1 of the Sierra Manual is reprinted, covering Effects of Altitude and Atmospheric Pressure on bullet flight.

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February 16th, 2019

Rimfire 17s — Three Great Options: 17 HMR, 17 Mach 2, 17 WMS

17 mach 2 .17 hm2 volquartsen summit

There are three readily-available 17-caliber rimfire rounds now on the market: 17 HMR, 17 WSM, and 17 Mach 2(aka 17 HM2). Aguila also made a .17 rimfire, the .17 PMC/Aguila, but it never became popular. What should be your choice? The 17 HMR is a very popular round, available from multiple manufacturers — CCI, Hornady, and now Norma. The 17 Mach 2 (HM2) is making a resurgence, as it is less expensive than 17 HMR and it can be shot from rifles converted from .22 LR since it shares the .22 LR cartridge OAL. Finally the 17 WSM is, without question, the performance leader among .17-Cal rimfire rounds.

17 HMR — Still the Market Leader in 17-Cal Rimfires

The 17 HMR (Hornady Magnum Rimfire) is popular and well-established. Ammo with a variety of bullet weights and designs is available. Most 17 HMR ammo is priced from $10-$12 per box, and you can get some better deals during sales.

17 mach 2 .17 hm2 volquartsen summit

You can buy quality 17 HMR rifles from many makers at all price levels. The Savage A17 with laminated thumbhole stock is a good choice. There were some early issues with the A17, but Savage improved the magwell and now this rifle is very reliable and accurate, particularly with the CCI-brand A17 ammo.

The laminated thumbhole stock version of the Savage A17 is a great carry-around varminter.
Savage A17 laminated varmint rifle

Ruger now makes a .17 HMR version of the Ruger Precision Rifle. If you prefer a modular chassis type rig, this is a great option:

Here is a semi-auto 17 HMR fitted with a suppressor. Even with the cameraman just 20 feet away, you can barely hear the shot, and recoil is non-existent. (NOTE: be sure to turn on the sound icon). Varminter Magazine says: “No ground squirrels were spooked during these shots. Quiet is an understatement!”. This may be the ultimate stealth varminter set-up.

17 Mach 2 (17 HM2) — Best Bang for the Buck?

The 17 Mach 2 (17 HM2) is making a comeback. Now leading manufacturers are offering this efficient little rimfire cartridge in some nice rifles. Both Anschutz and Volquartsen will offer new 17 Mach 2 rifles in 2019. Check out this Volquartsen Summit from SHOT Show. It offers a slick, straight-pull toggle bolt, like you’d find on Olympic biathlon rifles.

17 mach 2 .17 hm2 volquartsen summit

Considering that 17 HMR ammo costs $10 to $15 a box, the 17 Mach 2 is an excellent value by comparison. You can now get 50 rounds of CCI 17 Mach 2 for just $6.55 at Midsouth. Grab it while you can.

17 mach 2 .17 hm2 volquartsen summit

The Mach 2 propels the same 17gr V-Max bullet as the 17 HMR, but the Mach 2 runs about 16% slower — 2100 fps vs. 2500 for the 17 HMR. For many shooters, it makes sense to use the 17 Mach 2 rather than a 17 HMR. You save money, barrel life is a little longer, and the 17 Mach 2 is still a much more potent cartridge than the .22 LR. Check out this comparison, and note how the 17 Mach 2 has a much flatter trajectory than the .22 LR:

17 Mach 2 hm2 .22 LR comparison

Hornady’s 17 Mach 2 has a 2100 FPS muzzle velocity vs. 1255 FPS for .22 LR.

17 WSM — More Speed, More Energy, and Flatter Trajectory

The 17 WSM (“Winchester Super Magnum”) is the fastest, flattest-shooting rimfire round you can buy. It totally stomps the .22 LR, and even offers significantly better ballistics than the popular 17 HMR. Check out this comparison of three rimfire magnmum cartridges (17 WMS, 17 HMR, and 22 WMR):

17 WSM Winchester Super Magnum

And now lead-free 17 WSM ammo is available. This “unleaded” version is impressively flat-shooting. With a 100-yard zero, it drops only 4.3 inches at 200 yards. Compare that with a .22 LR which can drop 18 inches or more from 100 to 200 yards (based on 1150 fps MV).

17 WSM Winchester Super Magnum lead-Free

CLICK HERE for 17 WSM lead-free ammo test article.
17 WSM rimfire ammo test

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February 16th, 2019

If You’re Not Using Wind Flags You’re Throwing Away Accuracy


Forest of Windflags at World Benchrest Championships in France in 2011

There’s a simple, inexpensive “miracle device” that can cut your groups in half. If you’re not using this device, you’re giving away accuracy. The “miracle device” to which we refer is a simple wind indicator aka “windflag”. Using windflags may actually improve your accuracy on target much more than weighing charges to the kernel, or spending your life savings on the “latest and greatest” hardware.

Remarkably, many shooters who spend $3000.00 or more on a precision rifle never bother to set up windflags, or even simple wood stakes with some ribbon to show the wind. Whether you’re a competitive shooter, a varminter, or someone who just likes to punch small groups, you should always take a set of windflags (or some kind of wind indicators) when you head to the range or the prairie dog fields. And yes, if you pay attention to your windflags, you can easily cut your group sizes in half. Here’s proof…

Miss a 5 mph Shift and You Could DOUBLE Your Group Size

The table below records the effect of a 5 mph crosswind at 100, 200, and 300 yards. You may be thinking, “well, I’d never miss a 5 mph let-off.” Consider this — if a gentle 2.5 mph breeze switches from 3 o’clock (R to L) to 9 o’clock (L to R), you’ve just missed a 5 mph net change. What will that do to your group? Look at the table to find out.

shooting wind flags
Values from Point Blank Ballistics software for 500′ elevation and 70° temperature.

Imagine you have a 6mm rifle that shoots half-MOA consistently in no-wind conditions. What happens if you miss a 5 mph shift (the equivalent of a full reversal of a 2.5 mph crosswind)? Well, if you’re shooting a 68gr flatbase bullet, your shot is going to move about 0.49″ at 100 yards, nearly doubling your group size. With a 105gr VLD, the bullet moves 0.28″ … not as much to be sure, but still enough to ruin a nice small group. What about an AR15, shooting 55-grainers at 3300 fps? Well, if you miss that same 5 mph shift, your low-BC bullet moves 0.68″. That pushes a half-inch group well past an inch. If you had a half-MOA capable AR, now it’s shooting worse than 1 MOA. And, as you might expect, the wind effects at 200 and 300 yards are even more dramatic. If you miss a 5 mph, full-value wind change, your 300-yard group could easily expand by 2.5″ or more.

If you’ve already invested in an accurate rifle with a good barrel, you are “throwing away” accuracy if you shoot without wind flags. You can spend a ton of money on fancy shooting accessories (such as expensive front rests and spotting scopes) but, dollar for dollar, nothing will potentially improve your shooting as much as a good set of windflags, used religiously.

Which Windflag to buy? Click Here for a list of Vendors selling windflags of various types.

Aussie Windflag photo courtesy BenchRestTraining.com (Stuart and Annie Elliot).

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February 16th, 2019

Show Off your “Wallet Groups” with Shoot’n Aces Cards

Bell & Carlson stocks shooting card Shoot'n Aces playing target cards

Want to show off some groups you’ve shot? Or keep a handy pack of mini-targets in your range kit? Then check out this unique product from stockmaker Bell & Carlson. Shoot’n Aces cards feature a 1-inch black square aiming box with a 1/2-inch inner square. These cards are normal poker-playing-card size, 3.5″ high x 2.5″ wide (89 × 64 mm). Shoot’n Aces cards come 56 to a pack. Carry a few extras in your wallet or a pack in your vehicle glove compartment and you’ll always have a precision target to shoot at the range. Cards can be stapled or taped to target stands.

Bell & Carlson stocks shooting card Shoot'n Aces playing target cards

Bell & Carlson stocks shooting card Shoot'n Aces playing target cardsSniper Central says these cards work well as targets: “The bold square is easy to pick up with the inner white portion making a nice aiming point. The material of the cards is the same as normal playing cards and the bullets make a very nice hole when passing through.” The sharp edges of the bullet holes makes it easy to measure group sizes with precision.

Each pack of Shoot’n Aces contains 56 premium-quality target cards. If you want some, order Bell & Carlson item SA-2006. This is a set of four (4) card-packs with 56 cards per pack (224 cards total) priced at $20.00 (i.e. $5.00 per pack).

Product Tip from EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
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